I was talking to John today, and he mentioned that one of his friends told him that investing was like gardening. You need to cultivate your investments. I thought that was pretty neat.
Whether you invest in stocks, bonds, real estate, livestock, business, or commodities...they all require some attention. People used to dream about being a passive investor where you could just dump off your money at the local money manager, and they would get you 12-15% returns every year. At least that is what everyone hoped for. It hasn't turned out that way.
I actually had a money manager that told me that if I invested with him that my return on investment after 40 years was going to be 200 million dollars! He was using 15% returns and had me contribute $500 per month for 40 years. May be it was 50...I'm not really sure. It did put a smile on my face at the time.
You know...we don't live very long in this world. Some of us will be lucky to live to 100 years, but most of us never make it for one reason or another. If you think back to when it was the year 1800 what life must have been like back then. No Air conditioning, refrigeration, electricity, TV, cars, bicycles...it is amazing you would even want to live past 40 years old.
Look at how much life got better from a standard of living perspective from 1800 to 1900. Huge changes in standards of living. The difference between 1900 and 2000 is simply incredible! My point is that people who invested in America...or even the world had to have made some money if they invested in the vast majority of businesses. I cannot imagine life not being better in 2100 than it was in 2000. You couldn't even find my blog back just 12 years ago...even though I had a webpage in 1997. I couldn't add hardly any pictures, and advertising to get visitors was practically non-existent. Thanks to Google, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube...life has gotten much easier from an accessibility to information perspective.
One of my favorite proverbs is:
If you want to prosper for 1 year...grow grain.
If you want to prosper for 10 years...grow trees.
If you want to prosper for 100 years...grow people.
When you think about your investment or business strategy...think about which strategy you are going with.